Pupils step back in time to learn about Mountsandel

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Coleraine pupils were transported into the past to explore Mountsandel in Coleraine.

Year 10 students from Coleraine High School and Coleraine Inst came together to learn more about the historic site in a project co-ordinated by Causeway Coast and Glens Council and Coleraine Rugby Club.

Mountsandel is the first known site of the hunter-gatherers in Ireland, where excavations have revealed evidence of a Middle Stone Age settlement from as far back as 7700-7400BC.

Facilitated by specialists from Council’s tourism, museum and environmental departments the visit provided pupils with an opportunity to attend three separate workshops at locations within Mountsandel exploring the archaeology, artefacts and hunting practices of past times.

The students visited the Mountsandel Fort and the Mesolithic site itself, where there have been significant archaeological findings.

They discussed flint tools at the beach area by the River Bann and learnt hunting techniques in the surrounding forest and woodland, highlighting both the rich history and biodiversity of the site.

Students were asked to collect litter during their visit to raise awareness of the importance of looking after our natural environment.

Later, the pupils in groups, enthusiastically produced colourful posters which reflected what they had discovered about Mountsandel.

Representatives from Council and Rotary judged the concepts presented by the groups and awarded a prize of £100 to the winners, kindly donated by the Rotarians.

The winning team’s suggestions included the creation of a museum, a reconstructed Mesolithic hut, and the development of family activities such as a sand tray dig and fun hunting activities.

Vicky Stevenson, Tourism and Marketing Officer, thanked the pupils for their enthusiasm and effort.